Hey guys and girls.
Today we’re going to talk about chord progressions.
It is basically a succession of chords in sequence that you would have in a song.
So you might have a song that goes and that would be a chord progression.
Okay, so why do we want to know about chords and chord progressions?
Well, basically, the character of a song is based on those chords, and like sex, or good food or anything nice in life, it’s all about the anticipation, the tension, and then the resolution.
This isn’t supposed to be an X rated video, by the way, and it won’t be okay.
So we can build tension with chords.
And that creates emotion, which is what we need, because we’re trying to make music that moves people, right?
That’s the idea.
So there are seven main chords in each key. We will go through each of these seven chords. We will be using the key of C major, but you can use this theory and apply to any key and find any chord that you want, basically, and make a chord progression from it.
They are called diatonic chords.
And that is a fancy way of saying that they are made of only notes that come from within that key. The first step is I’m going to write down every note of C major.
With chords, we can just use every other note in that scale.
So we do use this as a template, because we’ve drawn them out, we are just going to move them to be slightly before.
So we can’t hear it. Basically, we’re just going to use it as a visual template.
So we will have C, skip a note, a, sorry, a skip a note G.
And that is the key, that is the chord of C major.
And we can continue. Then we’ve got D, skip a note for F sharp is not in the key of C major.
So we will do that for all the notes in the scale.
I’ll show you why in a minute.
Bear with me.
So you’ve got to skip a note.
Skip a note saying we were just blasting through this really quickly.
And when we get to this stage, we will just continue into the next octave.
That’s okay, just so we can get all the notes in.
We’ll just go right up to C again, which is the same note as the first note.
It’s the same chord, sorry, as this chord, but just an octave up.
So these are all of the chords in the key of C major.
And we have seven of them, plus the octave one.
So, in sequence, they would sound like this.
We can use any of those chords in a progression and we know that they’re going to sound good if we’re working in the key of C major, whatever order we put them in.
Now there are other types of chords, like dominance and sevens and knights and all these kinds of things.
But that’s a bit more advanced.
We won’t go into it in this video, but I will make a video if that would be helpful. Just let me know in the comments and I shall get it done.
There you go.
Now as you can hear, some of these are major like this one.
And some of them are minor, like this one.
And this follows the same pattern on any major scale.
If you go through all seven of the diatonic chords, the audit goes major, minor, minor, major, major, diminished, and minor.
And you’ve seen I’ve put them out on the screen there.
The big M’s stand for major chords, the little M stands for minor chord, and the little O stands for diminished, which is kind of a super minor chord.
It sounds a bit weird when you play with it, but you can use it. Now traditionally, you might see chord sequences written out in Roman numerals. You will see that if you do any research on chord progressions, you’ll see these written in Roman numerals.
And what we do is we use uppercase letters for the major chords.
And we use lowercase letters for the minor chords.
So in this instance, there would be a big one, or a big I because it’s Roman numerals for the first chord, which is a major. The second chord will be two, but in lowercase letters, because it’s minor.
The third chord, which is also a minor, will be in lowercase letters.
The fourth chord is a major, so that’s a big for the fifth, a big five or big V, because it’s Roman numerals.
Little six, because it’s minor, diminished six, which is done in lowercase, again, with that little Ode to show that it’s diminished.
And then the seventh chord is, sorry, the eighth chord, which is the octave.
We don’t differentiate between the octaves with chord progressions.
They just show which chord it is in the diatonic sequence, not which octave it’s on.
Okay, guys, so we know the different kinds. Of course, there are first all the way through to the seventh, the majors, the minors, and the diminished.
So which kind of chord works well with other kinds of chords, and this is the key to a good chord progression.
So using Ableton this clip feature, I’ve labeled each different chord, the first, the minor second, the minor third, the major fourth, a major fifth, the minor, adjust that the minor sixth will lowercase the diminished seventh, and then that’s back to the root chord at
So that’s the first again. Now the first chord can lead anywhere, and pretty much appear anywhere.
So that means any chord can come before or afterwards and it’s going to sound right.
Let’s imagine we’ve got a four-chord sequence.
Let’s give it a go. We’ll start with the first chord, go to wherever we like, see how it sounds. This is just going to be random.
Okay, not the best course sequence in the world.
But it worked.
And the first, definitely the transition from the first quarter, the one after that worked well, because it’s the first chord it’s dominant is very strong.
Okay, on to chord number two, which is a minor.
This goes well usually next to the first chord, fifth chord, or the diminished chord, which is quite hard to use sometimes.
So let’s try that with the diminished chord after it.
So it works again. You know, not the best chord sequence in the world, but it has been used and it might work for your song.
Next, we go on to the third chord that goes well, next to the first, the fourth, or the sixth chords.
So let’s give that a go and see how it sounds.
In fact, I won’t go through all of them and the ones they work well with.
I’ve made a cheat sheet. You can download it by clicking the link below in the description section.
And it’s just a PDF, then you can see which chords work well with each other.
You can actually use what’s called the circle of fifths to very quickly work out which chord progressions work well as well.
I won’t cover it in this video, but I will do another video about it.
You can check out my post on EDM tips.
com about the circle of fifths and how to use it.
But yeah, we’ll cover that in another video too.
Okay, so this theory is all very well and good.
You might be saying to yourself, but how do we use it to make absolutely banging EDM?
I’m going to use what we’ve learned today.
And I am going to quickly make a track and show you how I will use what we’ve learned to make it basically.
Yeah, so let’s dig in.
Okay, so I’ve put together a quick loop EDM track. I’ve decided to do it in the key of C minor.
So it’s close to what we’ve been working with.
And this is what we’ve got so far. It’s just some bass and some drums.
And there we have it.
And that’s, you know, that’s you can hear that’s all on one root note really, which is C, but we want to put a chord progression in, maybe for the break, or maybe for the chord, sorry, the chorus.
So let’s go ahead and do that really quickly.
Okay, first, I will draw out, to use as a template, all of the notes in the scale of C minor.
Those are all the notes within the key of C minor.
So we’re just shifting them to the side so we can’t hear them play.
And now we can draw out all of our calls using the system we used earlier.
So we skip every other note, basically.
So we go note, and then we will, air we have the first chord, which is C minor.
So you can hear that it sits perfectly with the baseline.
But we want to change those chords.
So we’ll quickly draw out all the other chords that we can use in C minor.
And we’ll do this by knowing each note root following the notes on the side of those in C minor, and then using the same skipping one of the notes, going to the next one.
The next one.
Do that all the way out.
Hey, guys, first chord, second octave.
Right, now we’ve got all our chords, we can choose which ones we want.
And we can just do this by experimenting or looking at the cheat sheets to see which chords will generally go well with another.
I’m just going to wing it and I’ll try.
Okay, I’ve got a lot to you.
So I’m gon na do the ones we’re not gon na use.
And then we’ve got our four chords for our sequence.
And now what do we do, because if we play the baseline with that, let’s just play on its own.
It doesn’t sound right, because the bass isn’t following the chord progression.
So all we do is follow the bass, the root notes of each chord.
So we have C, F, G, sharp, and G.
So let’s go to our baseline and just change that now these are just playing an octave of C, so C.
So that’s fine, we can just grab all of the next ones and what was the next one in our sequence?
Right and this is how the bass goes.
So now we can hear that it will follow the chords.
And there you have it, that is using chord progressions to make a track.
Now with the bass, I have a secondary bass sound, so I’ll just make that follow.
You can, as I said, you can just put them in any order you want and experiment.
Here we just copy and paste Okay, well copy and paste the second one to be where the last one was.
But the last one, the second one was and see how that sounds.
I prefer the first one.
So we’ll go back to that, but you can just see how that is possible.
And now for another tip, which is chord inversions, and I won’t go into it, it’s pretty simple.
Basically, it’s changing the order of the notes within the chord.
So we just put this C an octave lower, octave lower.
And that is why not and now these are different inversions of the same chord.
And you’ll hear it makes them a bit closer to each other and less bog standard, I guess.
So that’s something that is worth experimenting with.
So there you go, guys, really quick crash course on chord progressions, how to find out which ones work well with each other.
Let me know how you get on in the comments and get in touch with me there.
Hope you have a great day.